Check out part one of our series of posts on ranking WrestleMania.
In the latest episode of WrestleMania 30 For 30, Jason, Big D and GG discuss WrestleMania IX in heavy detail.
We talk about the show that’s not one of the more well-loved shows in WrestleMania history. Well, except if you’re known as Alan4L.
After a lot of company strife in 1992 with the steroid story giving them a lot of bad press and wrestling popularity going on a downward spiral, the following happened:
– Hulk Hogan was phased out of the company for almost the entire time between WrestleMania VIII and IX.
– The Ultimate Warrior was fired.
– Randy Savage became an announcer.
– Ric Flair went back to WCW.
– Bret Hart was the new WWF champion.
You could say this was the first attempt to move on from the past and into the future. That would fully happen a few years later right before the Attitude Era kicked off.
If they were trying to move on, why was Hulk Hogan back in the mix? What about this new wave of characters like Doink The Clown, the Steiner Brothers (fresh off their WCW run), the Headshrinkers, “The Narcissist” Lex Luger (after the failed WBF stuff), Giant Gonzalez (El Gigante), and Yokozuna?
We recorded the show before the passing of Matt Borne. Big D is a huge fan of Doink The Clown and we discussed the character heavily. After Borne died, D recorded a new intro at the top to talk about Borne’s passing.
Here’s our WrestleMania IX review:
We all know about Bret vs. Austin, we’ve all talked at length about the HBK vs. ‘Taker series and we’ve all read all there is to read about the HBK/Razor Ladder match….
but what about the forgotten gems? The matches that maybe weren’t classics, but were really really enjoyable and have gotten lost in the forest of epic WrestleMania matches and moments. These are some matches that I know I look back at fondly:
The Steiner Brothers vs. The Headshrinkers
Big jacked up All American butting heads with savage Samoans – that’s Pro Wrestling to me. These two teams are right up there with my all time favourites and this was somewhat of a dream match for me, even as an 8 year old. Both teams brought their A games with Rick & Scott throwing the big bumping ‘Shrinkers all over the ring and eating some hefty offense themselves. A picture perfect Frankensteiner finish closed the book on this one.
Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna
When people think of Bret matches at Mania 10, this usually isn’t the one that comes to mind. However that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a hell of a match. Yoko was at his peak as a star here, a mountain of a man that nobody could overcome. He ran through Bret (with some help) in Vegas the year before and they told the story of Bret as the huge underdog well. Incredible psychology, and great work from both men.
Yokozuna & Owen Hart vs. The Smoking Gunns
In case you didn’t guess, I’m a big fan of Yoko. This was his big return after a long absence. I remember freaking out when Owen introduced him as his mystery partner, I thought Billy & Bart would be DONE FOR. But what makes this match so much fun is how much of a fight they put up. Ultimately it wasn’t enough though as the massive Yoko (he was really packing extra weight at this point) was just too much for them. The finish was hilarious as Owen took a limp, squished, dead to the world Billy Gunn and put him in an unnecessary Sharpshooter while posing.
Wrestlemania XII was total one trick pony. There are wrestling cards that only promise one great match, but the possibly is there for good matches on the undercard. Here, WWE simply said, “We are going to give you the main event, and it’s going to be an hour long, and we really don’t care what else is on this show.” If you think about it from a time standpoint, you have one match that is going to take a full hour out of your three hour PPV. The rest of the matches and skits will have to be cut into two hours. Basically they cared about the main event and nothing else. I guess they did promise us the Ultimate Warrior again.
The Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart match was a good match, but over the years, it has been called the greatest match in Wrestlemania history by WWE. It’s not. Our own Big D calls it the most overrated match in Wrestlemania history. It was built up on television as “a boyhood dream” for Michaels to win the belt. As the story went, Michaels had been a wrestling fan as a kid and even though he was on the smaller side, he always wanted to win the WWF Heavyweight Title in a league of gargantuan monsters. Since Vince McMahon was giving us two great wrestlers in the main event rather than two slow moving, punching and kicking heavyweights, he made sure that we were going to see pure wrestling. He made it an Iron Man match. The rules of an Iron Man match are simple. There is a clock set with a one hour time limit. The person who scores the most falls in one hour wins. The hardest thing to do in a match like this is to keep the fans entertained at the same time as making sure the wrestlers don’t wear themselves out. Michaels and Hart paced themselves, but it still wasn’t intriguing enough live as many of the fans left before the match was over. Some detractors say that although they were entertained for most of the entire hour, they didn’t like the finish. Neither man won a fall in the entire hour and Bret Hart decided that since it was a draw, he was still champion. WWF President at the time, Gorilla Monsoon came out and said there must be a winner and ruled that the contest must continue and there would be a winner in sudden death. Soon thereafter, Shawn Michaels broke the Hitman’s heart with the sweet chin music and won the match and the title.